So often I hear, “Oh I want to live in an organized home but I just don’t know where to start“. How to organize your home is something that, once you have a system in place, is quite easy to maintain. Today I am here to help with that. I have compiled a list of 10 home organization tips that I use to keep my home organized. I will go through this list with step by step instruction.
Becoming organized doesn’t just magically start overnight. Organizing takes planning, practice, and time. With these 10 organizing tips that I am going to share will help you get you organized in no time.
These tips are quick and simple to implement. I’ve also put together a checklist that you can print out and use in your home today.
Growing up around clutter
I haven’t always been an organized person. It took me a lot of trial and error to get to where I am now because, growing up, I lived in a home that was filled with clutter.
My mother and father loved to create things so they had projects going at all time. Mom loved to sew, can, paint, and different types of arts and crafts. Dad loves to build furniture and there was always some type of home improvement project that he was working on.
With all of those projects came a lot of stuff. That stuff was on top of the day to day stuff that a home needs. It became too much for my parents to control so the house always seemed very cluttered and every room seemed smaller than it really was.
When I moved out, the cycle continued. We had our normal house stuff, our toys, the kid’s stuff, and so on and so on. The house became cluttered and again, every room felt smaller than it really was.
How to organize your home
We were busting at the seams and it seemed like we outgrew our home but the real problem was we just had too much stuff that we really didn’t need. I went through and decluttered our home getting rid of things that we just didn’t use and our home finally became livable again.
Once all of the junk and clutter was gone I set up a system to keep our home organized and that’s exactly what I want to share with you. Before I get to that I did create a quick reference organizing checklist that you can print out and use to help organize your home right now.
Step 1: Go through the mail.
Paper clutter is something that can creep up on you in a moments notice. You think you’re doing okay and then you turn around and there’s a stack of papers. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the mail.
We started sorting the mail as soon as it enters the house that way we don’t find ourselves with a stack of mail that becomes an overwhelming mess for us to deal with later.
Start by putting a small system in place. Instead of grabbing the mail and putting it on the table when you walk through the door, take a few of these steps first:
- Sort the mail into 3 categories
- Magazines and cards
The junk mail should go to be shredded or put into the recycle bin. The magazines, cards, and other all other mail need to be placed in its designated spot. For example, magazines are placed on to the coffee table (that’s where I keep mine), cards and letters can be opened and displayed. Lastly, the bills placed at the bill station. Which actually brings me to the next quick tip.
Step 2: Start a bill station.
Have a designated bill pay station. If you don’t have a spot where you place your bills I really do recommend you do this soon. Your bill station doesn’t have to be extravagant if you already have a command center you can include this there. All you need is a folder or a box to keep the bills in until you are ready to sit down and pay them.
If you pay bills with checks it could be a good idea to keep them together along with stamps. Paying your bills online you’ll want to put them next to your computer might be a good place. Paying your bills once a month, twice a month, or once a week it doesn’t matter, those bills need to be placed in its spot so they don’t get lost and clutter doesn’t build up.
Once the bill is paid place the stub in the filing cabinet or some type of filing system. If you would like to learn more about a bill station, below is a great article on that topic.
Step 3: Use only one calendar.
Yes, use only one calendar. I would feel so overwhelmed if I had to look at multiple calendars. I would feel like I was forgetting something all of the time. If you are using multiple calendars you can never be sure about your schedule. Having all of your appointment in one place leads to having a more organized system.
Determine if you are more comfortable with an electronic calendar or a paper calendar. This is totally personal preference. Everyone organizes differently. Everyone processes information differently. In order for you to be successful, pick the one that will work best for you.
Some examples of great systems would be using google calendar, which can sync up with your email and Facebook. Another good feature is you can add tasks to your calendar and have it remind you of tasks throughout the day which can be handy if you have a lot going on or are just starting out.
The other example would be having a paper and pen planner. This used to be my favorite system. It was nice to look down at my calendar for a quick visual.
Color code your calendar will also set you up for success. Giving certain topics a designated color. Also designating a color for a person will surely help you stay on top of your calendar.
I like to add small visuals to help with quick referencing. Adding color will do just that.
Step 4: Start a daily to do list
I cannot live without my daily to-do list. If I don’t have a daily to-do list I become overwhelmed and panicky. I fill mine out every evening before bed. Then I wake refreshed and ready to conquer my day.
In an earlier post, 5 Things To Make Your Mornings Easier, I talked about how important it really is to set a to-do list up.
Another great tip to keep you successful on your to-do list is to group your list into categories. Here are a few examples:
- Need to complete ASAP
- Complete today
- Phone calls
- Have a spot for your daily schedule
- Water intake
By setting your list up into sections you can prioritize your list and have your list work for you instead of writing a lot of things down and becoming overwhelmed.
Step 5: Start a receipt folder.
Every time you purchase an appliance, tool, or electronic is it a good idea to keep the receipt handy. You never know if it’s going to break or if the item may go on sale a few days after you purchase it.
Having a receipt folder allows you to know exactly where the receipt is if you need it. Another good tip is to staple your receipt to the manual so if it does break and is under warranty you have everything you need to bring that puppy back!
This really doesn’t take any new equipment. If you have a filing system in place already, just add a new file for your appliance manual. You will have a safe place for your manual and receipt just in case.
Step 6: Put it away.
This tip can quickly lead to becoming more organized. Remember what your mom use to say, “when you use something and you done with it put it away”, the same concept. If you clean as you go you’ll have less clutter hanging around. Seem so simple but can be hard to stay in that mindset.
Here are a few tips to help with success:
- Have a toy basket in common areas so kids can get in the habit of putting their stuff away
- As soon as you are done make a conscious effort to remember that, that item needs to be put away
- Take pride in your home (if you have more pride in your home you will naturally want to do better)
Step 7: Apply the one in and one out rule.
This one can be a really hard one to live by. I think this actually could be the most important step to implement. If you are removing an item when another item comes in you will not be adding extra clutter.
Here are a few examples of what you could do:
If you purchase a new set of socks, get rid of those socks with holes or without a mate. Taking these simple steps will help control the clutter.
Instead of only going through your clothes once or twice a year, why not remove items when you bring some in.
Taking these small steps will really help you keep clutter at bay.
Step 8: Set up a password file.
With needing a password for every little thing how can you remember them all? Also, what if something happens to you and someone needs to access a file that they will need a password for?
Having a safe spot for your passwords is a very good idea. You can write them down on a piece of paper and store it in a safe spot or you can set up a file on your computer so you can have easy access to it. Just make sure someone other else knows that the file or list exists.
Step 9: Set up monthly goals.
I really like setting up monthly goals. It makes me feel like I can keep up with personal and professional growth.
These goals can be personal or even things around the house that you’ve been wanting to get to and just don’t for whatever reason.
At the beginning of the month, I fill out my monthly goals and print it out and hang it next to my desk on the wall so I can see it every day. It is a personal reminder of what I want to accomplish this month.
I went into great detail about how to set up goals and make them attainable. Check it out to find out how exactly I set my goals and attain them.
Step 10: Don’t procrastinate!
Waiting until the last minute is the worst. You’re rushed, feel stressed, overwhelmed and may not be able to give it your all. If it is paying a bill and waiting until the last minute you run the risk of paying a late fee and that can cost you in the long run. If it is a work project, your job could suffer. Planning things out ahead of time leads to less stress and more time to get things done.
If procrastination is one thing that holds you back from finishing your to-do lists or getting anything done, then I’ve got a step-by-step post for you to check out!
Here are some things to help you stay on top of your tasks:
- Use a daily to-do list (we spoke about this before at step 4)
- Make sure you have enough time to finish the task
- Don’t over schedule yourself
- Keep a positive mind and attitude
So that’s the list. There are the 10 steps to a more organized home and you. By implementing these tips into your life you will see improvement with an organized home.
I know that this post had a lot of information and it’s a lot to absorb. I created a checklist that you can print out and use. You will find it in my resource library. Inside the resource library, you’ll find it filled with checklists, workbooks, cheat sheets, and so much more. I do add more content a few times a week.
If you feel like you need more than just a checklist you’ll really love this free resource library. Click the button below to join. I can’t wait to see you inside!